Sunday, November 3, 2013

Celebrating All Saints

We had an All Saints’ party on Friday.  I was wanting do my bit in building the culture for our children.  Plus what’s cuter than little kids dressed up like saints? 
Cutie, cute cute cute.
I tried not to go overboard with the preparations.  I really, really did.  All the food was done ahead of time.  Chicken fingers served cold, grapes, cheese, veggies, popcorn, and store bought mini cupcakes.  The cupcakes did have fussy-cut saint sticker toppers, but I did it while watching the final episode of Call the Midwife so it doesn’t count as obsessing!  I really do enjoy party planning.  The anticipation is just as much fun as the actual party.  Begging your long-suffering husband to PLEASE vacuum up the nasty dining room floor while you pop corn at 11 pm, is not much fun.  Anybody else experience the phenomenon that “keeping things simple” inevitably means it will all be done at the last minute? Because, hey, what’s the rush, it’s all so simple!
So anyway Friday morning I set the printer to work churning out saint coloring pages and head off to Anthony’s school for Mass and their Eucharistic procession, which was super sweet.  The procession went from the church around the playground to the lower entrance of the school, where the preschoolers were waiting.  (They hadn’t gone to Mass.  I don’t think they would have fit anyway!) An altar with saint statues was set up and we all chanted the Litany of the Saints.  I believe the patron saint of each and every student was included.  A few kids were dressed up.  If I had known they were allowed to dress up, I would have tried to cajole Anthony into his St. Anthony costume.
So back home to finish up preparations, including the afore-pictured St. Catherine Laboure costume.  That’s my black t-shirt, safety pinned so it doesn’t fall off her shoulders, Anthony’s undershirt around her face, and a piece of posterboard with elastic hot-glued to it.  Katie Rose kept it on much longer than expected.
Then I bring home Anthony and his little friend Ryan a.k.a. St Ignatius of Loyola in his Costco knight’s costume to start the party.  I set them to work on our “craft,” which is the saint coloring pages to put on a big roll of paper with clouds and “The Saints are in Heaven with Jesus!” (Idea from here.)  The boys oblige me with a drawing of a spaghetti monster and a choo-choo train floating amongst the clouds, then are off to slay real spaghetti monsters with Ryan’s foam sword.  Anthony is not at all interested in donning his costume, despite a week of anticipation.  Suddenly he’s got all macho and doesn’t want a dress and a flower.  St. Sebastian with darts taped to his t-shirt, St. Juliana in her handkerchief veil, a princess/soccer player, another Costco knight as St. Louis IX, and a “desert mother” in “animal skins” (a leopard cardigan) also arrive.  A planned “Litany” of each child’s saint was replaced by necessity with “All Saints, pray for us!” at grace.  Nobody else touches the coloring, since it’s too lovely outside.  We eat and let the Church Triumphant loose.
My older and wiser friend Bridget, mother of Ryan and six other children, says that I had planned a party for girls. Too true!  I did exactly what I remember my mom doing for my little sister Teresa’s birthday parties around the preschool years: Start with a craft/art thing that kids can join upon arriving, then food, then other activity, then cake and presents!  It was a slam-dunk formula for my sisters and me.  I learned that three-year-old boys just don’t sit and do art before lunch when there are swords handy.  In retrospect, DUH.  But they still had fun and it was in honor of the Saints, which was the whole point.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

August/Early September photo dump

Balboa Park (San Diego)

Balboa Park

Making breakfast.  Anthony's learned to make "egg in the hole" mostly by himself.

Excited on the first day of preschool!

Hooray for veggies being fun.  And you can sort of see that he's wearing striped pants.  It's Anthony's favorite outfit, other than his train shirt.  Yes, mommy, it matches!

Doesn't really need a caption.

All dressed up for Sunday Mass.

Chickens all grown up.  Three are laying now.

Anthony is very much into Babar!  We made this after dinner one day.  I drew and taped, he cut.

Elephant about town.


Making our lunch by himself.  This is why we send him to preschool. :-P

Zoo train.

World's meltiest ice cream cone.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Silly times



He ate my sunflowers. If only Ryan had a lasso...

Hermione is definitely our friendliest hen.  She eats right out of my hand and even lets Katie Rose pet her.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

This week...

...we took lots of pictures!

"CHOO-CHOO!!!"  The best part about our new coffee table?  Built-in tunnels!!!

Working very diligently.

So, this is the ancient woodpile that was rotting away behind the shed.  Home to brown recluse spiders and probably some snakes.  Here we are building a hügel out of it!  Hurray for making our yard safer, a better view for our back neighbors, AND awesome soil all in one!  So logs go in first.

Then smaller pieces of wood on top.

Then leaf mulch.  In the wheelbarrow: The beautiful dark soil from under the woodpile that we put on top. This will be our pumpkin and winter squash bed.
Broccoli plants getting big!

Peas blossoming.  I saw six pods today!

And tomato bed.  Those are cucumbers down the middle; they'll be needing trellising soon.
Roses for the feast of Corpus Christi from the farmer's market!  The peach ones are appropriately called, "Heaven on Earth."  They have a delightful light fruity fragrance, very like a peach!

I believe this is what they call, "Parallel play."